ELYRIA — An online auction site is listing Midway Mall as a commercial property, with bidding to start July 10.
The Hanna Commercial Real Estate listing has set the starting bid for the retail property at $1.2 million. The listing came online this week, roughly a week after Mayor Holly Brinda informed Elyria City Council that it should expect the mall to be sold in the middle of next month.
“The sale is supposed to take place in the second quarter of this year, which is what they’ve said all along,” Brinda said earlier this month. “They’re working through the process of determining a buyer.”
The listing, which includes seven different parcel numbers as one bid package, describes Midway Mall and the adjacent area as a “an excellent opportunity” for someone looking “to acquire a well located regional asset with significant redevelopment potential well-below replacement cost.”
The listing, which is for 585,606 square feet of space, includes J.C. Penney, which is an occupied anchor of the mall, and a retail strip center that includes Staples and several freestanding retail buildings including Aspen Dental and Atlas Theater. Other major mall tenants include Best Buy and Dunham’s Sporting Goods. According to the listing, the property for sale is 80.5 percent leased and the overall development is 65.4 percent leased.
To view the listing, visit http://bit.ly/2sIjr6J.
Property broker Lynn DeMarco did not return an email requesting comment.
The starting bid of $1.2 million is significantly lower than the market value for the property. According the Lorain County Auditor’s Office website, the mall is valued at just more than $12.5 million.
“$1.2 million is low, but I guess it’s a starting point,” County Auditor Craig Snodgrass said. “I anticipate it going for much more than that.”
Snodgrass said he, like so many in Lorain County, will be watching the sale closely.
“We are all anxiously waiting to see what will happen,” he said. “We have been trying to track and take a look at property sales in the mall area and surrounding mall area to see the trends. We know property is selling and changing hands a lot right now, so something is happening.”
A New York-based real estate company earlier this year spent $20.5 million to buy six parcels in the area, including the properties of Texas Roadhouse, the former Circuit City building, Jamie’s Carpet Shop, Pet Supplies Plus, Nicole Kay’s Boutique, Giant Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Joann Fabrics and Crafts. It already has been announced that a new trampoline park, Altitude Trampoline Park, will open as the first new tenant in the area.
In addition, the property where Olive Garden sits went to a new owner in December for $1.8 million.
Snodgrass said it is hard to pinpoint just how much the mall will go for in the distressed sale.
“Our value and what it can sell for is not always the same,” he said.
But he said all signs point to something positive shaping up for the area.
“It’s in a perfect position with the Turnpike and (state) Route 2. The mall was there for a reason because it is centrally located,” Snodgrass said. “It wouldn’t have gone in there to begin with if someone didn’t think there was huge value in the location.”
Sparks of activity in the area could incubate redevelopment.
A fairly new Hampton Inn and Suites, the under-construction 108-room Courtyard by Marriott and soon-to-be-renovated Days Inn and Suites increases the hotel accommodations in the area. And the reconstruction of state Route 57 and removal of the 49th Street Bridge have opened up traffic patterns to make getting to the mall easier.
Those items were deemed pluses last year when the city commissioned a redevelopment plan for the property through Jeff Green Partners and the Hoffman Strategy Group.
The plan, presented to Council in November, recommended the mall shrink from 1.1 million square feet to about 530,000 square feet. Additionally, the group recommended adding high-end apartments, another hotel and more office space to the property.
Brinda said the city will use the development plan as a tool to make decisions on how it may be able to help the new owners redevelop the mall using public financing.
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